One of the “Big Six” energy suppliers has broken ranks to back proposals for firms to offer a single unit price for gas and electricity. EDF Energy says such a move will help consumers compare different tariffs and identify the cheapest deals.
Martin Lawrence, EDF Energy’s managing director, said: “We know many consumers are confused when it comes to identifying which tariff is the cheapest for them – which is why we back these plans to simplify the market. By introducing a single unit price for electricity and gas, consumers would be left in no doubt as to which suppliers were offering the best deals. There would be no hiding place.”
Mr Lawrence has pledged his firm to implement the proposal if the other major suppliers commit to it. EDF also plans to discuss the proposal with consumer groups.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Rising energy prices are the biggest worry for hard-pressed consumers, but many people don’t switch to save money because the market is too complicated, so it is good to see EDF Energy backing a single unit price for energy tariffs.”
But Maxine Frerk, of energy watchdog Ofgem, warned that the unit price option is not as simple as it sounds.
“It doesn’t take into account, for example, discounts for payment method, dual fuel and paperless billing,” she said.
“Our research shows that customers value these discounts.”